Do you have a happiness setpoint?


I read some information today on a coaching website I’m a member of that really shifted my thinking. So often it seems people have a happiness set-point. You know what I mean – they have predictable patterns of happiness throughout their life…  Here’s a few examples:

panic1) The “Down & Out” crowd – Life’s troubles seem to follow them around no matter where they go. One crisis is overcome or averted and the next one is right around the corner. They live their lives in constant panic and stir up panic and drama for others as well. You might describe these folks as the ones being led around by the tail. They aren’t in control of their circumstances and don’t appear to be in control of their happiness.

grumpy2) The “Bah-humbugs” – These folks are hard to please, rarely smile, and life appears to be a bit of a nuisance. The glass is almost always half-empty or down-right bone dry.  These folks tend to have a pessimistic viewpoint on life and definitely bring people around them down. Complaining is their favorite thing to do. They scowl, and really don’t enjoy being around anyone or anything that seems to bring out much joy.

download (1)3) The Middle-of-the-Roaders – Lots of folks find themselves in this place – not much excites them or truly upsets them. Oh sure, they have the big moments – a wedding or a birth that is happy but their emotions don’t seem to match or if they do, it’s kind of brief . Nothing seems to be terribly noteworthy. Life is full of routine. Even their celebrations are routine. Problems are mostly manageable and life is flat, as is their energy level.

Manic-Depression

4) The Ping-Pongers – Whew, this crowd can wear you out from bouncing around to every emotion – really high to really low. I’m not talking about the clinically bipolar – these are folks that just seem to be whipped around by extremes. Wow their enthusiasm is contagious when life is good. But the lows can bounce them around at whiplash speed. Their energy is highly unpredictable and it might be hard to keep up with which kind of day it’s going to be. Heck, it might be 5 different kinds of day all wrapped into one. As a matter of fact, their happiness set-point appears to be stuck on spinning.

happy5) The Happy-Go-Lucky – These folks seem to have figured out how to be happy most of the time. They tend to be optimistic, seeking the silver lining whenever possible. It’s not that life doesn’t have it’s challenges, they just have found a way to stay happy in spite of it all. They find something to be joyful about in every day. They can draw you in and it just feels good to be around them.

Did you see yourself in any of these descriptions? While you might find you aren’t exactly like any of them 100% of the time, there definitely seems to be trends in life. It shows up in our outlooks, demeanor, and energy. It appears that perhaps people really do have a happiness set-point, like a magnet it pulls them back time and time again to the same spot.

BUT … what if it’s only how you think about the concept of happiness. If a person no longer thinks about happiness as a destination – it’s not the place you’ll end up, but it’s the mode of transportation no matter where you go. It can be a choice in attitude. What if you considered … are you WILLING to be happy consistently? It would take a bit of pondering to look at your habits, your beliefs – both those that serve and those that limit. What if happiness isn’t what happens to your life, but who you are as you are living your life. Isn’t life way more fun when we choose how to live it?

What if  …

Consider who you are being on this happy trail of life. Be happy, and be blessed!

2 thoughts on “Do you have a happiness setpoint?

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